Shravan Tiffin Seva is providing free lunch to nearly 200 senior citizens in the Mira Bhayander area of Mumbai. Dr. Uday Modi, an ayurvedic doctor by profession, is the man behind the 'seva', which initially started with cooking food for an aged couple near his hospital who were unable to cook for themselves.
While recalling that day, Dr. Uday told The Free Press Journal,
“Once, an aged man came to me for some medicines for his wife, who had suffered a paralytic stroke, and I was shocked to learn that the elderly couple had been dumped by their kids and there was nobody to prepare food for them. Since then, I resolved to provide some relief to such lonely elders.”
After providing food for this couple for the first few days, his wife urged him to find and help more people who could be suffering like them.
His wife was cooking food initially, when they were providing food for eleven people who were not capable of fending for themselves. Now, there are four cooks appointed to prepare food daily for around 200 people. Food is prepared separately for diabetics and non-diabetics, and Dr. Uday himself tastes the food daily to ensure its quality before it is sent out to the people.
He believes that he imbibed the quality of helping people in need from his father, who used to provide free slippers to construction workers in their locality. This was three decades ago, when the money available was very scarce.
“My father used to work in the post office, and he used to make just enough. Still, he managed to save money. This is 1987 I am talking about; there was a lot of construction work going on, with a lot of labourers working barefoot. He used to buy slippers of different sizes and offer them (labourers) to pick their size. The happiness on their faces as they walked about wearing these slippers is what touched me,”
Dr. Uday told Chaaipani.
Dr. Uday has been offering food for 10 years now, and at present, he is also taking care of their medical needs, with the help of a few social workers. While he does get a few sponsors, the proceeds are not sufficient to meet the needs of the people he is helping. So, in his free time, he also acts in serials on television, and he invests the money he gets from acting into helping more people.
Dr. Uday's dream is to open an old age home one day, one that would provide shelter for even disabled elders, for free.